Buying Class 3 Firearms and the NFA

Most gun buyers are unaware the purchasing Class 3 Firearms requires additional steps than the traditional gun buying process. This dates back to the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) which imposed a tax on making and transferring any firearm known as a Class 3 Weapon. The NFA required people who imported, manufactured, and sold Class 3 Firearms to pay a special tax in order to do business. Overtime the NFA was amended to expand the definition of terms like ‘machine gun’; and protect those who owned Class 3 Weapons prior to the act being established.

According to the ATF, the following are regulated under the NFA:

  • Short Barrel Shotguns (SBS) – any shotgun with a barrel shorter than 18 inches in length; or any modified shotgun shorter than 26 inches or a barrel shorter than 18 inches in length.
  • Short Barrel Rifles (SBR) – any rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches in length; or any modified rifle shorter than 26 inches or a barrel shorter than 16 inches in length.
  • Any Other Weapon – as defined in subsection (e).
  • Machine Guns – the NFA defines a machine gun as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”
  • Silencers & Suppressors – as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code
  • Destructive Devices – any explosive device, poison gas, or incendiary including grenades, missiles, rockets, bombs, mines, or parts used to make these devices.

Keep in mind that only licensed dealers are authorized to sell high-powered NFA regulated items. Having the proper understanding of the NFA and the rules about owning & possessing Class 3 firearms is important before you purchase anything. Weapon Depot has licensed NFA sellers who can help you make the right moves when purchasing Class 3 weapons online.